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Game Guys review - London 2012

4:53 PM, Aug 9, 2012   |    comments
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  • 'London 2012', the official Olympic video game of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
  • 'London 2012', the official Olympic video game of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
  • 'London 2012', the official Olympic video game of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
  • 'London 2012', the official Olympic video game of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
  • 'London 2012', the official Olympic video game of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
    
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  • Every four years a new video game comes out to tie-in with the quadrennial international sports competition, and every four years gamers are given an underwhelming Olympics-at-home experience.  SEGA looks to end that trend of underwhelming Olympic tie-in video games with London 2012.  While it might not bring home the gold, it certainly does a good job staying in medal contention.

    London 2012 offers players 31 different events in which to compete ranging from track and field (ie: 100m and shot put) to Gymnastics (ie: vault and trampoline).  While that seems like quite a good selection for a video game, it pales in comparison to the variety of events found within the actual Olympic games -- especially when you consider that many of the events are for one gender only.  Then again, when you think about it, it doesn't really matter if one could participate as a male and as a female in the different Olympic events -- especially since the event would be the exact same either way.  The 100m backstroke is still the 100m backstroke regardless of the type of God-given equipment the athlete has.

    As an Xbox 360 title (the game is also available on PlayStation 3 and PC), London 2012 is Kinect-enabled (Move-enabled for PS3 owners).  Not all of the events, however, utilize the technology.  In fact, Kinect is only used in London 2012's party mode.  The events that are Kinect-enabled are well designed, though the gesture-based controls can misfire from time to time -- something quite frustrating when competing in events such as archery.

    Gamepad controls are easy to learn, though not always simple to execute.  Sprinting (which is done by repeatedly tapping the "A" button) and swimming (done with the analog sticks), for example, are not as straight-forward as one would think.  Luckily, they aren't so awkward that the player couldn't get used to it after a few tries.

    Graphically, SEGA impresses with London 2012.  While this is partially due to lowered expectations thanks to the history of these types of video games, London 2012 is able to hold its own without the need for triple-A caliber visuals.  Simply put, the athletes look good and the venues appear true to form from the Aquatics Centre to the Velodrome (aka "The Pringle").  Audio in London 2012 seems somewhat canned with a soundtrack that comes off as generic.  Compared to the broadcasts being shown on NBC this year, however, the music doesn't seem too far off (though John Williams 'Olympic Fanfare and Theme' seems nowhere to be heard).

    Overall, SEGA did a satisfactory job with this Olympic tie-in video game.  It's the more serious of the two with this association (Mario & Sonic at the 2012 London Olympic Games being the other).  It would be hard to say, however, which would be the better of the two since it would be like comparing apples to oranges.

    Final Game Guys grade: B

    (SEGA provided a copy of this game for review.)

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